According to a recent study, a short course of physical therapy (PT) did not help return function or elbow motion in children undergoing treatment for a supracondylar humeral fracture. A news report from indicates that the study included 61 patients with supracondylar humeral fracture treated with either casting or closed reduction and pinning followed by casting. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either six sessions of a standardized hospital-based physical therapy or no further treatment.

The news report notes that to assess function, the research team used Activities Scale for Kids-performance (ASK-p) scores and self assessments of activity at 1, 9, 15, and 27 weeks after injury. The researchers also measured motion at 9 and 15 weeks as well as anxiety at 1 and 9 weeks after injury.

The results of the study showed significantly better ASK-p scores were noted in the no-PT group at 9 and 15 weeks after injury, but the difference at 27 weeks was not significant. The researchers found no differences between the two groups with respect to performance of activities of daily living or time to return to sports. In the PT group, anxiety at 9 weeks was linked to worse ASK-p scores at 9 and 15 weeks but better in the no-PT group, according to researchers.

The news report notes that no differences were found between the groups with respect to elbow motion in the injured arm at any time. Also, severity of injury had no impact on function or elbow motion in either group.